2015/16

I got up at seven in the morning, an hour after my intended wake up time, grabbed my phone and went to the bathroom. I turned on the shower to jump start the hot water, sat on the shitter and checked my Facebook feed. When the water was hot enough to fog up my bathroom mirrors, I turned on Spotify on my phone, searched for the Spring Awakening soundtrack and hit Play. I did a quick look at my PayPal account to confirm I did transfer funds to my friend Harry who got us Spring Awakening tickets for the day before. I was obviously still riding a musical high from the Sunday matinee.

I woke up Andy as I was choosing which shirt to wear and picking up socks and underwear from the bedroom. I turned on the kitchen lights and dimmed the bedroom lights using my phone and then checked what the weather is going to be like for the day. An alert on my phone showed some train issues on the 7, so I begrudgingly decided to switch to a bus when I reach Queensboro.

The commute to work was uneventful. Listened to a few YouTube clips, continued on with Spotify. My iPad’s podcast app has been shitty lately, on my out of the door as I was refreshing my podcasts, it froze and rebooted – so I switched to my phone in the mean as it loaded, and it usually takes a while.

I got off on Greenpoint and Manhattan Avenues, visited a 7-Eleven. I showed my app that tracks how often I buy coffee – on the seventh visit, you get a free cup and I’m three stars away.

Despite the cold, I stepped out for lunch and went to my usual Thai spot. On my way back to the office, passed by KeyFood and tried using my phone to pay for my purchases. Worked like a charm.

I’m hours away from six o’clock, but I already know I’m going to need hot coffee on my way home. Starbucks has this app that has a way of ordering ahead of time, that way you show up at a Starbucks, skip the line and pick up your coffee. I’ll check my phone and check waiting times for a bus to Queensboro Plaza, or a train to Court Square – and depending on how long the wait it, I may also consider to use Uber and have a car pick me up and take me home without having to pull out my wallet to pay for my ride.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably continue to surprise myself every now and then – but technology is amazing. I feel like we are living in the future. If I wasn’t so chicken shit, I can probably leave all my bank and credit cards, and cash home and go head out just armed with my phone and my Metrocard.

—***—

I had my share of concerts the past year. I have a rather simple mind – if I like the artist, I’d go.

The year started well when my best friend Ryan took me to a Lea Salonga concert for my birthday. We saw her many times before in Cafe Carlyle, and during her return in Les Miserables as Fantine. Lea never lets me down – and there’s not much frills in her shows, just her singing and talking. No dance productions, no light shows. I ended the year seeing Lea again in Allegiance. It was my gift for mom for her birthday, and she just wanted to see Lea live. True to form, mom’s first words when Lea came out on stage was “Tumaba si Lea (Lea has gone fat)”. Lea did a few dances too, which I myself was surprised. After a dance about playing baseball, Lea and the company did a fake baseball throw, and then my mom told me “Tamo, hingal na si Lea eh (Look at that, Lea is breathing heavily)”.

My friend Colter introduced me to The Mowgli’s months before he and his now husband decided to go back to Arizona. He made me search them in Spotify and I was surprised when I enjoyed the positive vibes they give off. For the most part, I enjoy listening to singer-songwriters who sing about broken hearts. I got us tickets to see them in The Bowery and fell in love with band. There are some bands and artists that you just have to see live and The Mowgli’s is one of them.

 

I saw Pentatonix twice this year, and also once late 2014. I saw Imagine Dragons in Barcaly’s. Saw Jay Brannan again in Joe’s Pub. I was also invited to join by the same folk I go with to see Pentatonix to see Ellie Goulding.

But my big three, plus one bonus, didn’t happen until towards the end of the year. And I know they are my “big” ones because I hardly have any pictures of these concerts – I paid way too much attention to singing along, dancing along, or just plain staring at the stage while occasionally grabbing my boyfriend’s hand and crushing it.

I saw Metric twice in 2015. Once when they opened for Imagine Dragons. But the second time was more special because I distinctly remember receiving their e-mail about starting a European tour for the new album, checking the dates, and giving off a quiet yelp when I saw that they will perform in Paris exactly on the same day I fly to France. I basically lost my shit and just bought the tickets without asking for my boyfriend’s approval. To make it more exciting, when we got to the venue, we were told that we have to pick up our tickets from some music store chain, and the closest one was half an hour away via subway. I had no problem playing the I’m-a-stupid-American card and practically begged to see a venue manager, clutching on to my e-mail, the credit card I used to make my ticket purchase and my passport. Some guy on a walkie talkie let us in and I saw relief in my boyfriend’s eyes. I really think he thought I was going to go postal.

On a sad note, less than a month after, the very same venue we saw Metric, Le Bataclan, was one of the sites terrorists attacked in November 2015.

Every year, Aimee Mann and a bunch of her friends host a Christmas show and every since I found out about it, I either forget and miss it, or hear about it too late and the event sells out. But 2015 was different, I lucked out and got tickets. And as an added bonus, Mann brought along Liz fucking Phair. I never felt so lucky.

Fun night 🙂

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But the biggest event for me for 2015 was the twentieth anniversary of Garbage’s first album. And Garbage decided to do a tour. I put on my imaginary pink feather boa, hopped on a train to Brooklyn, and just sung and danced for the next hour or so. Bow down to me.

Twenty years ago, I fell in love with a lil band called @garbage. Finally seeing them live.

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—***—

I didn’t do much travelling for 2015, but when I did, I went all out.

Celebrated my birthday in Boston. My boyfriend Andy was there for a convention, with our friend Matt. I actually spent most of the day by myself, discovering Boston’s horrendous subway systems and great art museums. It was not the worse birthday.

I cashed in on a holiday party gift and went to the company cottage in Nantucket. Nantucket was never in the radar, but I was glad I got to spend a weekend in this former whaling island. It was gorgeous despite the bad weather.

A week after, my boyfriend and I went to Europe. First was to Paris, followed by a quick trip to London. It’s a lot to write about Paris. I find it hard to believe sometimes that I’ve been there. It was beautiful. The food was great. The people was lovely. And that tower. And that museum. It was just too much for one me. And I definitely want to go back. Same with London. We visited and stayed with family while we were in the UK. We saw the Stonehenge. I saw one of the original copies of the Magna Carta. I realized how much i really do love old cities. It’s a sentiment I feel about cities like Boston or Philadelphia. But these cities are babies compared to the centuries old cities of Paris and London.

I ended the year with a trip with my best friend for her birthday. We love going away together, and it doesn’t happen as often as I want to. This time, we went to Orlando and had silly unbridled fun in Universal Studios. I fucking rode the train to Hogwarts.

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—***—

2015 was good year. 2015 was a shitty year. Every January, I look back at the previous year and pretty much always come up to the same conclusion: It was a good year riddled with shitty moments. And my hopes is it always stays that way, instead of having a shitty year with good moments.

fkenpmaes

 

How to Plan a Birthday Gift

Two months prior, you start making mental notes of things your boyfriend likes. You start paying attention to small comments made here and there of things that amuses him. You scour the internet for concerts and shows.

You purchase tickets for a concert of a band he might enjoy a week prior his birthday. He knows one song from the band, but you’re sure he’ll enjoy the concert anyway. You click “Buy” without regard to the price. You want the best seats.

All men are boys – so you shop for a toy. You make sure it’s something he likes. He’s mentioned it months ago – this is a good buy. You ask his brother and sister for their opinion.

You buy novelty shirts. Something funny, smart and geeky. Buy it in blue because blue looks good on him.

You make reservations in a steakhouse. Fuck diets, it’s his birthday. You go through the menu and see if there’s anything he’d like. You call the restaurant and mention you’re having dinner for your boyfriend’s birthday before going to a Broadway musical.

You buy tickets for a show. You haven’t seen a musical in a long time. He’s going to love it.

You put all the gifts in a corner in your room so he’ll see the surprise you prepared for him when he comes over and stay for the night.

It’s going to be perfect.

*****

The real gift is you are willing to cancel everything because your boyfriend’s sister decided to throw a family-only party that you’re not invited to.

The real gift is calling the restaurant to cancel your reservation.

The real gift is calling your best friend to accompany you to a Broadway musical because you don’t want to waste the rather expensive tickets you got, and you don’t want to go alone.

The real gift is not losing your shit because in a relationship, one has to be the strong one that the other can hold on to.

rentheads unite!

saw rent recently on dvd. i’m in love again. loved the freakin’ movie. i should see the play on broadway.

great songs, loved i’ll cover you. it was a happy song, sung by collins and angel as they walked along tompkins park in alphabet city, east village. then sung again by collins at angel’s funeral.

i think they meant it,
when they said you can’t buy love
now i know you can rent it
a new lease, you are, my love

the story behind rent is very interesting (and heart-breaking if you ask me). see wikipedia for the story.

thank you, jonathan larson.

out and about


anyone remember two of a kind? was in a job fair in a holiday inn by broadway, and i saw the single dad in that show. he was carrying what looked like a script, and was talking by himself. what’s the point of this? well, he’s the second “celebrity” i saw here in NY. the first one was – get this – donald trump. it was a book signing (technically, it wasn’t a book signing, it was the release of his audio book) in barnes and noble, i just happen to be there. yeah, he has bad hair.

more about the job fair later, after a bit of rest.

jim david says…

the good thing about reaching my age is you realize that people in their twenties don’t know a damn thing. they’re only good for looking better than people in their thirties and forties. so if you’re in your twenties: strike a pose and shut the fuck up.

if homosexuals don’t reproduce… why is there so many of them?

people here in new york are such snobs. you can take them on the top of mount everest, and they’ll say, ‘well, this is sooo overrated.’

the british can not be embarrassed. they can have their pants on their ankles and ask, ‘do you feel a draft?’

i believe in capital punishment. and since i was an 8th grade teacher, i believe capital punishment should start at twelve.

dream a dream

i just realized that i do not have a les miserables cd… if i’m gonna buy one, i think i’m gonna buy i love you, you’re perfect, now change as well, for me and another for ate (ate, wag kang bibili ha? gift ko sa’yo sa bday mo, dec 5). and i have this image of uma as fantine mainly because of the movie, and i can see her singing this:

There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came

And still I dream he’ll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

what scares me, really, about this is i know every note. me and bibba can belt the whole play out if we wanna. i can also include mabet. i remember when bibba and i would sing songs from miss saigon, and even if there are only two of us, we can sing and switch between characters! tipong there’s kim, chris, the engineer and thuy all in one song, and just the two of us, kaya namin! even the sound effects, kasama sa lyrics, like gunshots, we sing ’em, too 😆

when i get home, before sleeping (i am extremely sleepy right now), i’ll sing with lea salonga first. then go to bed.